- NET Web Desk
In an attempt to recognize the contribution of freedom fighter Rani Gaidinliu who valiantly fought against the Britishers, the 44 Assam Rifles on Wednesday inaugurated a new air lounge named after her at Manipur’s Tamenglong district.
The Lt Col Mohit Vaishnava, PRO (Defence) said Tamenglong town is connected to Imphal by a civil helicopter service with a helipad within the 44 Assam Rifles Camp.
According to UNI report, the passengers didn’t have any safe waiting area away from the helipad, thereby making the presence of vehicles and passengers dangerously close to the helipad. Therefore, with an intent to strengthen the safety measures at helipad, the 44 Assam Rifles under HQ 22 Sector AR/ IGAR (East) constructed Rani Gaidinliu Open Air Lounge, which is adjacent to Helipad.
“The structure is a concentric semi circular structure with outer rectangular flower beds supported by local bamboo craft as boundary wall. The green plants depict the vivid flora of Tamenglong with flower beds depicting the four cardinal directions of district boundaries. The central arena has three semi circular beds. The outer semi circular bed with ornamental plants depicts the vast jungles of the district as Prakrti Chakra. The middle raised semi- circle depicts the vibrant culture and heritage of the area as Sanskriti Chakra. The inner raised semi circle with the name of Rani Gaidinliu inscribed on it depicts the bravery and valour of this soil as Veerta Chakra.” – added the report.
However, the lounge comprises of basic amenities, such as – waiting area for passengers prior to boarding/de-boarding the helicopter. Inaugurated as a New Year gift for the locals of Tamenglong by DIG, 22 Sector AR, the plants for landscaping have been collected from various parts of the district. On the bamboo craft walls, the visitors shall witness a glimpse of vivid culture of the district including important places of tourist interest.
There is also a provision of lighting up the lounge area in the evening. This facility shall not only ease the passengers waiting time but shall enhance the passengers safety around the helipad.
Born on January 26, 1915 at Luangkao Village now in Taosem Sub-Division under Tamenglong District of Manipur state, Rani Gaidinliu – the Naga spiritual and political leader, led an armed uprising against the British in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam belonged to the Rongmei tribe (also known as Kabui).
Rani Gaidinliu at the age of 13 associated with Jadonang and became his lieutenant in throughout his social, religious and political movements. Gaidinliu, along with her cousin Haipou Jadonang joined the Heraka movement, which aimed at revival of the Naga tribal religion and establishing self-rule of the Nagas (Naga Raj) ending the British rule.
Its pertinent to note that Haipou Jadonang was a spiritual and political Rongmei Naga leader from Manipur who fought for freedom from the clutches of the British colonial rule. After Jadonang, Gaidinliu took up the leadership of this movement, and valiantly fought against the British.
Gaidinliu commenced a serious revolt against the British after the martyrdom of Jadonang, which led to her imprisonment by the Britishers for 14 years. Finally released in 1947, her role in the struggle against Britishers was highly acknowledged, which led to her introduction as “Rani”.
Released from Tura Jail after India attained Independence, the renowned freedom fighter passed away on February 17, 1993 at her native village Luangkao.
She was conferred with the Tamrapatra in 1972, Padma Bhushan in 1982, Vivekananda Sewa Summan in 1983, Stree Shakti Purashkar in 1991 and Bhagwan Birsa Munda Puraskar in 1996 posthumously. However, the Government of India (GoI) on 1996 also issued a Commemorative Stamp of Rani Gaidinliu.
On the occasion of her birth centenary commemoration function in 2015, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi released a Coin of Hundred Rupees and Coin of Five Rupees. The Indian Coast Guard have also commissioned a Fast Patrol Vessel “ICGS Rani Gaidinliu” on October 19, 2016.
Meanwhile, the Union Minister of Home Affairs & Cooperation, Amit Shah recently laid-down the foundation stone for setting-up the Rani Gaidinliu Tribal freedom fighters Museum at Luangkao village, Tamenglong District.